News Round-Up

--Adconion Acquires Joost Assets
--Boxee Remote Control Widget Launched
--Ericsson to Cease Using Tandberg Television Brand
--Interactive Mobile TV Services Set to Launch in Korea
--Pace Supplying HD DVR's to Argentina's Cablevision
--Playcast Develops System for Playing Console Games on Legacy Set-Top Boxes
--Rogers' TV Everywhere Service to Launch Today
--English High Court Rules in Virgin Media's Favor in Rovi EPG Patent Case

Here is a round-up of some other interactive TV-related stories we didn't have room for in this issue:

  • Online video advertising network operator, Adconion Media Group, has acquired most of the assets of broadband video service, Joost, and plans to use the Joost brand for a white-label broadband video service. However, Adconion CEO, Tyler Moebius, told Paid Content that the company also plans to continue to operate the consumer site and will actively seek new content for the site. More detail is available here.
  • In a posting on its corporate blog, Saturday, Boxee announced the availability of a remote control widget for its over-the-top-TV platform. The widget was developed by Boxee user, James Celestino.
  • Ericsson, which acquired TV technology company, Tandberg Television, back in 2007, says that it will stop using the Tandberg brand. "From the 25th of January 2010 we will start using the Ericsson name for all our TV solutions and stop using Tandberg Television," the company said in a press release. "Television is a cornerstone of Ericsson's multimedia strategy, and Tandberg Television's market leading technologies and expert team are at the core of this strategy. Together we will draw on decades of broadcast TV market leadership and technology innovation, as we move to deliver on our vision for more on-demand and more HD, with multiplatform and converged television across cable, satellite, telco and terrestrial platforms."
  • Korea's mobile TV operators are set to introduce interactive versions of their digital media broadcasting (DMB) services next month, the Korea Times reports. "The country's six terrestrial DMB operators plan to beam the first signals of their 'DMB 2.0' services in December," a report in the newspaper states. "DMB 2.0 is described as an interactive television service based on mobile Internet networks, enabling viewers to surf a range of data-based services such as ecommerce, stock updates and personal video recordings (PVR). However, it won't be until next year that mobile television viewers will get a taste of the interactive services, as the industry has yet to have a handset or mobile device to support the new technology."
  • UK set-top box company, Pace, has secured a deal to provide HD DVR's to Argentina's Cablevision. The boxes--which are being offered in conjunction with the operator's new MAX service--feature dual tuners and a 250GB hard drive, and will support an advanced EPG that allows movie searches by title, actor and director.
  • UK newspaper, The Times, last week published a profile of Playcast, an Anglo-Israeli company that it says "claims to have developed a system that will allow video games to be played in the home via existing cable TV networks, without the need for any extra hardware," using legacy set-top boxes. A subscription-based Playcast service is slated to launch on Israeli cable operator Hot's platform early next year, followed by launches in the UK and Spain.
  • Rogers On Demand Online, Rogers Communications' thePlatform-powered implementation of the "TV Everywhere" distribution model, is set to launch today. The service, which at launch will offer around 1,000 hours of content and which is expected to grow its offering to around 10,000 hours in a few quarters, is slated to launch on smartphones and games consoles early next year.
  • An EPG-related patent-infringement lawsuit, filed by the then-Gemstar-TV Guide (which was subsequently acquired by Macrovision, which subsequently changed its name to Rovi) and its subsidiaries, StarSight Telecast and United Video Properties, against UK cable operator, Virgin Media, and its subsidiary, Virgin Media Payments, back in January, 2008, has been decided in Virgin Media's favor by the English High Court. Rovi, which claims to have over 200 issued and pending patents covering the UK, had alleged that Virgin Media was infringing upon three of its European patents--EP (UK) 0969662, EP (UK) 1377049, and EP (UK) 1613066--which cover such areas as techniques for providing EPG's and for handling recordings from EPG's (note: abstracts and some diagrams for the patents can be found in an article published on, June 7th).

North America